Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Shepton Mallet's Victorian Event

As the excitement began to brew yesterday afternoon on the Market Place in Shepton Mallet, local residents started to arrive in suitable Victorian attire in order to celebrate in style the premier showing of Turn Back Time; the High Street on BBC1.
Will the chimney sweep looked as if he'd already done a hard days work...
And I was suitably dressed in my work wear ready for a busy evening in my shop.

I had a rather nice surprise before the event kicked-off. My hubby arrived in full Victorian dress, which he had secretly hired for the day, so that he could give me a hand behind the counter! Doesn't he look dapper?! ;-)

With a helping hand in my shop, I was able to nip around the corner to Town Street and to congratulate Mandy and Zoe on the opening of their fabulous retro boutique WooHoo!

Photo courtesy of No.21.
They were both very excited, as they had just been filmed for BBC Points West, our local news programme. The interior of the shop is fabulous, very Biba-esque in style and full of wearable vintage garments and accessories. Its wonderful news to have another new shop open on the high street.

As the time ticked on, the crowds arrived for the well planned Victorian Event.

Officially opened at 3pm by the Town Crier, of course.

Then the fun could begin...

I had some very elegant customers visit my shop - More photos can be seen on Belinda's blog here.

It was wonderful that so many made such an effort to turn back time.





Later in the evening, the stunningly beautiful Carole came to see me. Carole is a dealer in antique costume and she very kindly brought me an authentic Victorian skirt to try on...

Luckily I could just fasten it around my waist(!) and so I spent the rest of the evening in this fabulous silk and lace skirt, with train.

Thank you to Isabelle and Alan for taking this photo, which I may use in a collage I have planned to display in my shop, to celebrate the making of the BBC series.

Photo also courtesy of Isabelle and Alan - thank you!
Later in the evening I had a visit from BBC's Somerset Radio, Pete Simpson. We started chatting and he asked how I'd feel about a short interview for the local radio. I jokingly replied that as long as it didn't go out live, that would be fine...'Er, no, it would be live', I was told. Those who know me well, know that I am a bit of a shrinking violet, so I'm still at a loss as to why I said 'yes'! I was told it would be just yes and no answers (which it wasn't!), and so at around 5.10pm my little interview went out on the radio waves. If you'd like to hear my rather nervous piece, you can find the interview here - its a three hour long show, but you can move the slider to 1:08:45 to hear my section.

The Victorian Event carried on well into the evening, and was also covered live by the local news Points West on BBC1. The story is available for around the next 6 hours here, then it becomes archived, so I will try and trace it again later. Move the slider to 9.18 for the start of the report.

A superb time was had by all. For me it confirmed my belief that the high street can be the hub of a community. When there is something going on in the town, people do come together. With more shops opening up in the town, they will have something to come in for...Lets hope Shepton Mallet can regenerate. It has had this wonderful opportunity, lets hope that those who can make a difference, will do what needs to be done.
Niki x


  1. Loved the programme last night! I'm really looking forward to the remaining programmes too.
    And did so well with that interview, Niki!
    I listened to it all.
    Let's hope all this really helps Shepton and the town goes from strength to strength.
    ;-) x

  2. Looks like so much fun! I hope our PBS stations here in the States will someday show this BBC program, it looks like it will be fascinating. Hope all the press helps everyone out! by the way, your shop looks beautiful.

  3. What a fun evening! You and your hubby look fabulous! I loved all of the costumes and your shop is so charming! Hope this helps get your town on the map for shopping fun!

  4. Oh Niki - how thrilling! I remember all those months ago when you mentioned on your blog you were taking the leap and opening up shop in Shepton Mallet. Obviously it was definitely the right move to make! I am so happy for you - and wishing I was there in fancy Victorian dress to celebrate! ;)

  5. Sounds like you had a fabulous evening last night, and how great that your hubby surprised you with his Victorian attire! We used to have a week-long event every summer in Newquay when I was growing up, called "Newquay 1900'. The whole town dressed up in Victorian clothing, including all us schoolchildren at school, and there were special events organised throughout the week and then a grand carnival procession and fireworks at the end. It was such great fun and like you say in Shepton, the whole town came together. Perhaps with the success of this event more similar things of its kind will happen in the town. Looking forward to visiting the new vintage boutique next time I come! Right, I'm going to sit and watch the programme on iplayer now........

  6. Anonymous4:00 pm

    It sounds like a dream. I wish I could have been. I love Victorian England.

  7. What a great post, Niki, thank you. You both looked wonderful how fab of your husband. I really enjoyed the programme. The new retro shop looks great, I do hope they do well and bring some custom into Shepton.
    Hen x

  8. Anonymous4:17 pm

    Hi Niki,
    You gave a really good interview on the radio. I went on the radio once and I had a job to remember my own name! Well done
    Kind regards Dawn

  9. Really enjoyed watching the programme. The giant cheese had us girls giggling. AND WE SAW YOUR SHOP! How thrilling to see something familiar in the background of a tv programme. xx

  10. Hi Niki!
    How wonderful! You and hubby are fantastic Victorian clothes ...
    Envy... ;o))
    I want to be there ... that nostalgia! Sigh ...
    A dear greeting, Maria.
    (With translator)

  11. Well done Niki, It is great to hear about Woo Hoo, I hope others take the plunge and join you.
    I would hate to be interviewed live as I expect I would "er" & "um", things which I hate to hear.
    :Tracey x

  12. Hi Niki, I spotted you on the tv last night, what a wonderful series.. I kept craning my neck to see past the memorial thing in front of your shop!!
    I am off now to listen to your interview.. well done!!!! xxxx

  13. how absolutely fun. wish i were living in those parts of the world to visit.

  14. Great programme and thanks to you I actually knew about it and watched. Can't wait now for next week.
    And a comment on your blog- its always so interesting and inspiring, you put a lot of work into it and your shop. I am sure Shepton Mallett is all the greater for it. I hope to visit very soon Best wishes to all you telly stars.

  15. Lovely interview. I would have loved to have been in your town for this event and to shop in the Square. I hope we will at some point be able to view the program in the States!

  16. Loved the programme last night, and so nice to see your shop in the background a few times! Looking forward to the next instalment for the Edwardian era, which happens to be my favourite! Thanks for all the photos...
    Ali x

  17. It looks like such a fantastic time was had by all and how fantastic that people got so involved! :-)

    Great pictures, thank you for posting!

    Jem xXx

  18. wow, well done Niki!!!! fantastic, well done. Liz xxxx

  19. What a fab occasion. It must be so good to see the town regenerating.
    The programme was really good to watch last night , I kept seeing glimpses of Nostalgia in the background. Good luck Shepton Mallet!!

  20. Wonderful to have a put a voice to the face. Great interview. How I wish I could visit Britain and come to your shop and meet you. Sounds like it was a fun day for all concerned.

  21. Hi, I saw the programme and think that I caught a glimpse of your shop too. Wonderful and so good for your town ... that's the sort of publicity that money can't buy! Well done.
    Love Lesley X

  22. j'adore on se croirait dans Mary Poppins !!!!!!dommage que je saCHE PAS L'ANGLAIS J'AIIIIIIIIME TON BLOG BISOUS

  23. I LOVED the programme, and how exciting to have it filmed right in your local town. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. Mandy x

  24. Everything looks gorgeous! I hope they air the show on BBC America so that I can check it out!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx